Big wins for Churchill Brothers FC and Real Kashmir FC in Round 8 of the I-League. The teams have narrowed the gap to four points off table-toppers Chennai City FC.
NEROCA FC climbs to the fourth spot, while East Bengal warmed up to the Kolkata Derby with a win over Gokulam Kerala.
No love game for Lajong as Kashmir inflict tennis scoreline
FULL-TIME: Real Kashmir FC 6- 1 Shillong Lajong FC
Real Kashmir FC: Tetteh (26′); Robertson (37′); Tamang (42′); Krizo (50′) [P]; S. Singh (74′); Tetteh (83′) ; Shillong Lajong FC: Samuel Lyngdoh (28′)
Real Kashmir FC inflicted a tennis scoreline on Shillong Lajong FC, running away 6-1 winners at the TRC Turf ground in Srinagar.
With their fourth win out of seven games, Kashmir climb to third place on the points table, level on points with Churchill Brothers on points but a tad behind on goal difference.
Real Kashmir dominated the match from the get-go when Nagen Tamang got a chance in the third minute when he hit straight to Lajong keeper Neithovilie Chalieu from close range.
In the 25th minute, Ivorian striker Krizo bamboozled the Lajong defenders and squared it to Abednedo Kofi Tetteh, who tapped in his first goal for the club and opened the scoring.
Shillong equalized three minutes later in a rather fortuitous manner. A long ball from Aibanbha was cleared by Kashmir keeper Bilal. However, his clearance struck an onrushing Samuel Lyngdoh and the ball rolled into the Kashmir net to make it 1-1.
Mason Robertson put the hosts ahead in the 37th minute. The coach’s son rose highest to nod in a Surchandra Singh corner.
Five minutes later it was 3-1. A run through the midfield by Bazie Armand opened up the Shillong backline, before finding Kofi on the left flank. A clever ball found Nagen Tamang and the former Royal Wahingdoh player found the back of the net.
Five minutes after the break, Krizo made it 4-1 for the home team. The Ivorian was brought down in the box by defender Aibhan. Krizo stepped up and calmly slotted in Kashmir’s fourth.
Real Kashmir was not done with the scoring. In the 74th minute, Nagen Tamang’s one-two with Kofi allowed him to cross in a ball. The ball deflected off a defender and fell kindly to Surchandra Singh, who fired in his team’s fifth goal.
In the 83rd minute, substitute Shahnawaz’s cross from the left was headed in by Kofi on the near post to make it 6-1 for the home team.
This ends a six home matches for the Snow Leopards as they head on to the road for the next six matches. Meanwhile, Lajong will have to find a way to end their horrid run after picking up only one point in seven matches.
East Bengal end losing streak
FULL-TIME: East Bengal FC 3- 1 Gokulam Kerala FC
East Bengal FC: Brandon Vanlalremdika (5′); Jobi Justin (15′); Lalramchullova (82′) ; Gokulam Kerala FC: Christian Sabah (57′)
East Bengal returned to winning ways after three losses in the I-League. The Kolkata club registered 3-1 win over Gokulam Kerala FC at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Gokulam Kerala failed to show up for most of the first half. Brandon Vanlalremdika made them pay with a goal in the fifth minute. A cross from the right by laid to Vanlalremdika after a clever dummy by Enrique Tirado. The East Bengal wideman slotted home to make it 1-0.
Joby Justin made it 2-0 in the 15th minute. Lalrindika Ralte found the Kerala defenders napping when he played a long ball from the left. The striker shrugged off the challenges to make it 2-0.
In the second half, Gokulam Kerala pulled one back. A long ball from David Addo through the middle found Christian Sabah, who broke the East Bengal offside trap. The forward eased the ball past the goalie and slotted it home to make it 2-1 in the 57th minute.
Gokulam’s hopes of a comeback were ended when Lalram Chullova found space in the opposition box and slammed home to make it 3-1 in the 82nd minute.
The win takes East Bengal to nine points in sixth place, one spot above Gokulam. Next up is the big one: The Kolkata Derby on the 16th.
Gurung and Wolfe inspire Churchill to a big win
FULL-TIME: Churchill Brothers FC 4- 1 Aizawl FC
Churchill Brother FC: Aucho (23′); Israil Gurung (24′); Anthony Wolfe (62′); Willis Plaza (78′) [P]; Aizawl FC: Kromah (55′)
Churchill Brothers FC Goa maintained their unbeaten record with an impressive 4-1 victory over former champions Aizawl FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium.
The Red Machines were all over the Mizo team in the first half, with right winger Israil Gurung having a brilliant afternoon.
The home team took the lead in the 23rd minute. Gurung delivered a free-kick into the Aizawl penalty area on the right. Aizawl goalie, Gurpreet, was drawn out of his line while Willis Plaza looked to get a touch. The ball fell between the two and Aucho volleyed in to give his team the lead.
A minute later it was 2-0. Cessay’s cross from the left found Gurung with acres of space to direct his header into the Aizawl net. Churchill could have had added another before the break when Willis Plaza hit the upright in the 37th minute.
Aizawl pulled one back in in the 55th minute. Mapuia got a free-run at the Churchill defence and put in a cross for Kromah at the far end. The Liberian slotted it in past James Kithan in the Churchill goal.
A minute later, Mapuia could have helped Aizawl draw level as his flying header to a Lalram cross rebounded off the bar.
Churchill’s coach Petra Gigiu handed Trinidadian Anthony Wolfe his debut in the 60th minute.
A minute later, Cessay found him inside the box and Wolfe. With his first touch of the game, Wolfe shook off two Aizawl defenders. His second and third touches fended off two more. His fourth touch sent the ball into the Aizawl net past Gurpreet.
Welcome to the I-League, Anthony Wolfe.
Not to be outdone, another Trinidadian, Willis Plaza, scored the fourth in the 78th minute. A cross caught Aizawl skipper, Alfred Jaryan, on the arm inside the Aizawl box and referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Plaza scored for his seventh goal of the campaign, although the keeper got a hand to it.
The Goan outfit has now moved to the second spot with 13 points from seven games – four behind leaders Chennai City. Aizawl remains stranded on the ninth position with five points from eight games.
NEROCA hit three as young Arrows defense quiver
FULL-TIME: NEROCA FC 4- 1 Indian Arrows FC
NEROCA FC: Katsumi Yusa (29′); Felix Chidi (29′); Malemnganba Meitei (86)
Last season’s runners-up NEROCA FC registered a sublime 3-0 win over Indian Arrows at the Khuman Lampak Stadium.
The win takes taken NEROCA up to 11 points in fourth place, while Indian Arrows remain on the bottom of the table after suffering their fourth straight loss.
The game began on an even keel with Saran Singh getting on the end of a shot inside the Arrows box in the second minute for the hosts. Rahim Ali missed a clear chance for the visitors in the ninth minute.
NEROCA began to take control of the game and went ahead in the 29th minute. Singham Subash Singh delivered a low cross from the left flank and it was anticipated by the Japanese whose first touch took him away from an onrushing Prabhsukan Gill in the Arrows goal. His second saw the ball find its way into the goal.
Meanwhile, Arrows forward, Rahul KP, missed a couple of chances to draw level at the other end.
After the break, NEROCA’s front-man Felix Chidi doubled the lead in the 54th minute. The Nigerian caught the Arrows defense napping on the counter. He went on a solo run from the center circle before finishing neatly with the outstep of his right foot to make it 2-0.
This is Chidi’s fourth goal in four games in the I-League.
In the 84th minute, a defensive lapse allowed NEROCA midfielder Malemnganba Meitei to tap in William’s cross in the far post.
3-0 to the home side as the Arrows youngsters were dished out a thoroughly professional performance.
The League Table